Summer weekend with a bit of herping

On Saturday, again in hot weather, I managed to see two female Adders (Vipera berus) basking next to each other and then a couple of hours later I found one of these females beneath a flat stone. On Sunday, I went for a hike on the moorland surrounding my village and went for a swim in a nice pond where I used to go when I was a child. There was a very large population of Palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) together with many well-developed tadpoles of Common frog (Rana temporaria). In most areas close to me newts have left the water by now, so I was surprised to still see the males in breeding condition and demonstrating some courtship behavior. Despite this I could still see lots of newt larvae together with the 30 or so adults I could see in one area of the pond so perhaps in remote locations they spend most of the summer in the water.

Small female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Small female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female adder (Vipera berus) found twice on Saturday
Female adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson
Female Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus)

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